Last week I was at OSCON with Akiban where I did a demo during Ori’s talk. We announced our early developer release at OSCON and it was a lot of fun to be able to show people our product at our booth. It was also satisfying to see users download and try out the product we’ve been working on. I’m hoping our source code will also be made publically available in the near future.

One of the common questions we got during the conference was why we implemented the PostgreSQL protocol. Some people were also confused thinking that we were a fork of PostgreSQL due to this. Akiban Server is a completely independent database server we’ve built from the ground up and when it came time to decide on a communication protocol, we decided that the PostgreSQL protocol was the best choice.

The main reasons we chose the PostgreSQL protocol are:

  • the protocol is pretty simple and well documented
  • many clients exist for PostgreSQL and can be re-used with Akiban (this means we do not have to spend a lot of time on client drivers)
  • the PostgreSQL command line tool and client library ships with OSX by default now (making playing with our server much easier)
  • it supports asynchronous operations

We (really when I say we, I mean Mike) also implemented support for a number of PostgreSQL system tables in order to support many of the \d commands in psql by creating views internally.

If you are interested in trying it out, I encourage you to download our server and start playing with it. Try using your favorite PostgreSQL tools with it and see if they break. We are very interested in any and all feedback!

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23 July 2012